Research Programs

Core Benchmark Studies

The core benchmark studies are the central research program at the Institute with our CompScope™ Benchmarks reports as the flagship. From medical costs to worker outcomes, the studies in this program examine the changes in performance of individual state systems and provide meaningful interstate comparisons.

With these studies, stakeholders, public officials, and policymakers can monitor their systems on a regular basis and make important interstate comparisons. By identifying incremental changes in system performance — trends that may signal either improvement or deterioration, they can also set goals for system performance, make improvements, and avoid crises.

The following are among the studies that fall within this program:

  • CompScope™ Benchmarks
  • CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks
  • Outcomes for Injured Workers
  • Medical Price Indexes
  • Hospital Payment Indexes
  • Medical Cost Containment Inventories
  • Longer-Term Use of Opioids
  • Interstate Variations on Use of Opioids
  • Prescription Inventories


Topical Studies

​The Institute’s topical studies focus on the major current public policy issues
and long-term challenges confronting workers’ compensation systems. The
studies evaluate the impact of recent reforms and identify emerging trends and
issues; actions and policies that improve disability and medical management;
and key leverage points to improve system performance.

The following are a few examples of recent studies that fall within this research program:

  • Do Higher Fee Schedules Increase the Number of Workers’ Compensation Cases?
  • Physician Dispensing of Higher-Priced New Drug Strengths and Formulation
  • Predictors of Worker Outcomes
  • Why Surgery Rates Vary Across States
  • The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use

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